Most parents will agree that looking after children during a pandemic has been challenging.
Kids and young people are dealing with a lack of routine, not able to see their friends and being home more often than usual. Parents are juggling home schooling with work as well as the struggle of being with your little people constantly. But things are starting to change.
With dates being discussed for when we can expect children across the UK to go back to school, many families will be excited about the return but if your child has eczema, you may also have concerns.
Pupils will be required to wash their hands more regularly than normal, using anti-bacterial soaps which may cause a reaction to your child’s skin. If your child has a reaction, you can ask the school if you can provide your own milder anti-bacterial soap or a soap suitable for children with skin conditions. Check with your dermatologist or GP to make sure the specialist soap you choose can also kill bacteria.
Many schools ask their pupils to use anti-bacterial hand gel before entering school and these can also dry out eczema prone skin. To prevent this, you can also ask the school if you can provide milder gel. Putting emollient or moisturiser in your child’s school bag so they can moisture throughout the day could also help.
For older children, they may need to wear a mask during school hours which can aggravate the face and cause a flare. Natural fabrics like cotton or silk are the best and make sure you choose as soft a fabric as you can find with comfortable straps so the sensitive skin around the ears isn’t affected. The mask should be washed daily, in a washing powder your child doesn’t react to. If your child has issues with the skin on their face, they may be eligible for an exception – contact your GP or dermatology department for further guidance. The past year has been tough but hang in there and stay safe.
If you have a child aged 0-17 with eczema you can get free practical and emotional support by joining Eczema Outreach Support. Visit www.eos.org.uk